For those who are new to the "Badge" system of NBA 2K17 and a bit clueless on how they affect the game, it is best to go back to 2K15 where the "Badge" system was introduced for the very first time to better understand how it works.
Origins Of Badges: The Signature Skill System
Back in 2K14, the game used "Signature Skills." Signature skills identified a player's area of expertise, e.g. shooting, passing, etc. in the game.
The system was designed so that gamers can spend their time on developing each player's skills that can contribute best to the team.
To use a classic example, if the player was using the 90's version of the Chicago Bulls, he would want Steve Kerr to develop all the signature skills related to outside shooting while letting Dennis Rodman focus on developing rebounding and defending skills.
This was 2K14's way of making players specialists of their craft. For those who have had an extensive experience in RPGs and MMORPG the concept would be very similar to character customization and development.
Each player in 2K14 has one or more signature skills which would come in handy if the gamer is down one point under two minutes in the last quarter and would want a three pointer or a rebounder to get him through a certain play.
Introducing The Badges System
The drawback of the signature skills system was that it caused gamers to develop players with nearly the same level and type of skills.
The point of individualization got lost since they could make each of their characters develop all the skills they wanted regardless whether that player in real life was good in that skill or not. For instance, imagine Stephen Curry being the go-to guy in rebound and shot blocking.
The signature skills system was then abolished and was replaced by "Badges" in NBA 2K15.
Badges served two purposes: to identity the unique basketball skills of a player, and to assess the personality that makes the player behaviorally different from others.
The developers of 2K15 wanted gamers to create players that were not only unique in basketball abilities but also in their reaction to the reality of the world within the game.
To simplify things, this meant that Badges gave gamers the chance to shape the basketball skill their player is unique at, but also how that player would emotionally react in the various conditions it will face in the court.
The two kinds of badges introduced were called "Personality badges" and "Skill badges."
Personality badges could only be leveled up once, while skill badges could reach three levels of growth namely bronze, silver, and gold.
Personality badges determine whether the 2K character will have a hot hand in a game or experience a shooting slump. It would also impact the character's body language and facial expressions when frustrated or exuberant.
The skill badges, on the other hand, functioned nearly identical to the old signature skills system
A Unified Badge List
Gamers might think there was no change at all but simply an addition of "personality" to each player. However, that is not the case.
The major change was the merging of the personality badges and skill badges into a single badge list, meaning gamers cannot have one without the other.
Not all of the players in the game can get a single badge. Some players were designed to have only certain types of badges so that their true uniqueness will manifest.
Apparently the developers wanted gamers to truly have a chance to mimic the qualities of the real life counterparts of the 2K game characters.
In this year's 2K17 there are 55 badges in total for Personality and Skill. As it was in the past, gamers can earn these badges from My Career Options.
Since the concept and origin of Badges are clear, gamers can now understand how best to develop their players and enjoy the game even better.